Food allergies are nothing new. For two decades, the portion of children with a peanut allergy has essentially tripled. Eggs. Soy. Wheat. Fish. Onions… They’re all common food allergies. Besides peanuts, perhaps the single most common food allergy is dairy, or more appropriately, lactose. But did you know there is a rare disease that renders a person allergic to most, if not all, foods?
It’s called food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES).
A little boy in New Haven, Michigan as reported by The Voice, has had FPIES since birth, but he was not diagnosed until he was five months old. Now, at nearly two years of age, he is unable to consume any food. His body will react violently to any food introduced into his system. When Elliot Carter was still very young, he would vomit profusely after nursing. He wasn’t growing and quickly fell behind the growth chart. He showed the symptoms of being dehydrated because he could not ingest food naturally.
Then, just months after the initial diagnosis, he was diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS).
This condition treats food as though it is a foreign body and attacks it. With Elliot having both of these conditions, he is severely restricted to a certain diet.
After trying many foods under carefully monitored circumstances, Elliot’s parents were about to isolate breast milk and ice chips as available food sources. However, this was barely helping Elliot gain weight and grow. Eventually, they made the tough decision to put a port in his chest that is used as a feeding tube.
This is not a permanent fix. It was only ever meant as a stopgap. The use of this port may result in liver damage. His parents are hoping that by slowly introducing foods they can find something that Elliot will be able to tolerate.
Click here to read more about the Carter family’s experiences.